immediate release --September 21, 2001.
Contact Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699
Crisis Response Team Going to New York City
General's Crime Victim Assistance Division is leading eight-person Iowa
team that will spend next week in NYC.
An eight-person Iowa "Crisis Response Team" will go to New York
City this weekend to assist in helping communities there cope with the
emotional trauma resulting from the terrorist attacks on September 11.
The group will spend a week in New York at the request of the National
Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA), which is working with officials
in New York and the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime to coordinate response.
The Iowa Crisis Response
Team is led by the Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney
General's Office. The eight members are among about 65 Iowans from various
disciplines who have been trained in at least a 40-hour community crisis
response curriculum and ongoing follow-up training.
The Iowa Team will
learn its specific location and duties upon arrival in New York. The group
could be assigned to work directly with survivors, with neighborhoods
or community groups, or with other professionals. Crisis response teams
often provide local mental health workers with training in how to conduct
the ongoing special work of helping a community recover from major crimes
or disasters. (The teams are not involved in the immediate public safety
response of firefighters or law enforcement.) The Iowa team will assist
local care givers.
Members of this Iowa
Crisis Response Team are: Marti Anderson, Des Moines, Director of the
Attorney General's Crime Victim Assistance Division (CVAD); Alison Whall,
Des Moines, Education Coordinator, CVAD; Kirstin Lippincott, Des Moines,
Quality Control Investigator, CVAD; John Harrell, Des Moines, Chaplain
for Mercy Hospital; Betty Brown, Des Moines, Administrator of Victim and
Restorative Justice Programs, Iowa Department of Corrections; Diane Tonkyn,
Iowa City, Family Therapist at United Action for Youth; Kim Vrieze, Orange
City, Victim-Witness Coordinator, Sioux County Attorney's Office; Laura
Scheffert James, Waterloo, Community Treatment Coordinator, Iowa Department
of Corrections. (See additional details on team members on separate sheet.)
Alison Whall is the
designated Team Leader for the group. Whall also is coordinator of the
overall Iowa Crisis Response Team, a group of about 60 trained volunteers
coordinated by the Crime Victim Assistance Division of the Iowa Attorney
Attorney General Tom
Miller said: "We are pleased that we are prepared to make this contribution
to recovery in New York. We thank the volunteers who are going, and we
wish them all good fortune in this important work."
The full Iowa Crisis
Response Team consists of about 60 Iowa volunteers from various disciplines,
including victim advocates, mental health professionals, child psychologists,
educators, health professionals, clergy persons, and peace officers. All
have completed extensive training in the special task of serving communities
in the wake of a crime-related disaster. Iowa Response Team individuals
have responded to community crime-related trauma situations in Salt Lake
City, Little Rock AR, and several locations in Iowa including Marshalltown,
Woodward, and Ft. Dodge.
Specific Iowa response
teams can be assembled on 24-hours' notice. When the disaster hit New
York, Washington, and Pennsylvania last week, the full roster of volunteers
was notified and put on alert in case Iowa was asked to send a unit. On
Wednesday, NOVA requested an Iowa unit for next week, and the eight members
were designated by late Thursday. The Iowa Team will fly to New York Sunday
and is expected to return the following weekend. Volunteers and their
Iowa employers contribute their time. Transportation and other costs will
be paid by NOVA, the U.S. Office for Victims of Crime, and other sources.
Most details are not
known yet on where the Iowa Team will be located and with whom they will
be working. The unit will assist at the large memorial service at 6 p.m.
Sunday evening. The Iowa Crisis Response Team is prepared to fulfill various
functions, including to:
Assist local care
givers in planning and implementing immediate and long-range response
after a disaster.
respite and support to local care givers.
Provide focused training
to mental health professionals or others on immediate crisis response
and long-term stress reaction to disaster-related trauma.
or crisis intervention sessions to specific groups (such as survivors,
neighborhoods or other local groups) in cooperation with local care givers.
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